Wine Performance May Be Impacted By Linux KPTI Patches
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 5 January 2018 at 09:07 AM EST. 30 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Besides VM performance and databases and heavy I/O taking a performance hit in the "Kernel Page Table Isolation" patches in the wake of the Spectre and Meltdown attack, it looks like Wine's performance may also be impaired.

Phoronix reader "R00KIE" pointed out that one of the page table isolation patches does mention a possible performance hit for Wine.

The patch of "x86/pti: Put the LDT in its own PGD if PTI is on" is currently in Linux 4.14 stable (as of v4.14.11) and is also in Linux 4.15 Git as part of the KPTI landing at the end of 2017.

The patch description by Andy Lutomirski mentions, "This will significantly slow down LDT users, but that shouldn't matter for important workloads -- the LDT is only used by DOSEMU(2), Wine, and very old libc implementations." LDT in this context is the Local Descriptor Table.

Most Linux users will be unaffected by the "significant slowdown" but the Wine mention is worrisome especially for those still playing Windows games on Linux. Looks like it's another test to add to my growing TODO list this week/weekend... If you enjoy all my continued testing this week, consider showing your support by going premium, disabling any ad-blockers, or tips via PayPal. Back to the benchmarking.

UPDATE: Confirmed - Wine Takes Minor Performance Hit Running Windows Programs On Linux With KPTI

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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